Sean & Sara
My brother Sean & his wife Sara! They posed for Darcy and I while running late enroute to their far away home. Thankfully they did postpone their departure, because this dag really looks nice. Sean sat still as a rock for the entire minute which gave much joy to assure sharp focus with my newly calibrated ground glass. Sara flinched just a bit, but she still looks gorgeous nestled on Sean's shoulder just behind the plane of focus. The plate is pretty good.... although I am always very critical on myself... little over developed, smear next to Sean's left eye, etc.... (the dust spots seen here are mainly do to the poor digital scan, and poor quality glass doesn't help the cause any... The glass will be replaced once fitted in a case.)
Taken on 4th of July Weekend of my father. This Dag seems to be a bit over developed and just slightly over exposed. Due to imperfections, I did not guild this plate. What great detail & tonal range in his hair and face. I was really disappointed with this plate at first, but it continues to grow on me... I like it better as time goes by.
Darcy "Little Proudfoot" Dag 3
This plate has the beauty and character of lovely Darcy in so many ways. Taken on a beautiful evening at the rocky edge of Sandusky Bay (Darcy's favorite place.) All kinds of new variables have arisen on this plate. Scratches.... Lots of them, Luckily they sort of add some character, almost placed intentionally on the bottom and top. We made 4 plates total in Pittsburgh the day before we left and found that Plate 1 had no scratches, 2(This Dag) & 3 many scratches, and the 4th none. I think something got picked up in the buff and then tossed out after the next plate. This was also the first time to use my sinar with xenon f2.0 lens. Focus is extremely critical at that aperature and it seems i need to spend a day calibrating ground glass. The next dag won't be so artful... on too the newspaper for a good focus check. Rouge was a little to liberal as you can see from the spotting.
Many different variables led up to this plate. First I needed distilled water which led me to 'Get Go' and ultimately the subject in a chase for sunlight. The final image looks decent at best. The overall tone is extremely blue, maybe caused by uneven development and over exposure? Not Sure. The Plate itself looks really good in terms of polishing and guilding. Unfortunately after guilding, I was drying the plate and water dripped off my hand onto the dry plate... in a panic I submerged the plate back in water and dried the plate a second time which cured the water spots but created many particles of dust to stick to the plate. On to plate 3.
Finally First Dag!
After months and countless hours of preparation, construction, research, & cash.... I finally have created my first daguerreotype! Back in July 2009 Darcy & I went to Montana and were taught the Becquerel Process of Daguerreotype Photography under the wise instruction of Jerry Spagnoli at the Photograper's Forumulary. Well I have finally put my new knowledge to test here in pittsburgh, and it seems to work. I am very pleased with the final image, Basically I got an image!....Here is my novice understanding of what I initially notice needing improvement for the next plate. (just scratching the surface of improvements) The exposure is correct according to my vision of metering, maybe just barely 1/3 stop too hot, but I would have lost the lower end had I shortened the exposure. The sun popped out through the clouds for about 15 sec during the exposure, burning the woman and wood, I probably should have compensated for that as well. Some guilding issues and/or drying issues, both of which i hope to figure out through more work. Maybe some overdeveloping too... looks a little foggy to me in the bottom dark areas. You can't see the imperfections of the buff in the scanned image, but I do have some scratching caused by the velvetine hand buff.
This photo illustrates the scene for my first dag. You can see the sun is extremely hot on the subject: When I was exposing the plate, the scene was completely in shadow. The day was overcast, but the sun did peek out for about 10 - 15 secs during the exposure. Special thanks to Mark Knobil who's Graflex Camera, Spot Meter, and general understanding of my insanity make this whole process a little smoother.
Daguerreotypes that we created in Montana at the Photographer's Formulary with Jerry Spagnoli.
This historic process, invented by Jaques Daguerre in 1839, provides a unique depiction of important people, places, and moments in life. After training with Jerry Spagnoli, one of the most notable Daguerreotype artists, we have gained a love and appreciation for this medium that can only be realized by experiencing final pieces in person. This is especially significant due to the hallographic visual quality provided by these artistic representations. The final product is a mirror image of the subject captured on a silver coated copper plate, beautifully enclosed in a case built specifically to display the intended image. Longevity is certainly an asset to this art, as dags have proven to last well beyond 100 years.